A couple years ago I was driving the girls to the store and my seven-year-old saw a man with a prosthetic leg. She stared for a while then said, “Dad, can they give someone a new brain?”
I can think of lots of people who could use a new brain but not for medical reasons. “No,” I said. “They can give new knees, hips, livers, eyes, kidneys, hearts, all kinds of stuff, but not brains. Not yet anyway.”
She thought for a while, then said, “Where does the new heart come from?”
“From someone else.”
“But I thought you need your heart to live?”
I saw where this conversation was going and that it was about to go from lighthearted to heavy lifting. “You do. When someone dies they can take their heart and give it to someone else who needs a new one.”
She was quiet again, staring out the window, watching the other traffic whiz by. Finally, she said, “What about babies? Can they get a new heart?”
“Sure they can. It’s really tiny, too.”
I glanced at her in the rearview mirror and saw such sadness in her eyes as she put the two together. “So the other baby has to die?”
I explained how sometimes babies die naturally, there’s nothing we can do about it no matter how hard we try to save them. It’s very sad, but yes when they die they take the baby’s heart and give it to another baby who is very sick and needs a new heart.
Again, the wheels turned. I could see them grinding out a deep and contemplative thought. “So,” she paused, her eyes going back and forth as they tracked the moving buildings outside the car’s window. “Someone has to die so someone else can live.”
It hit me right in the chest, those powerful words of wisdom coming out of my daughter’s mouth. I couldn’t help it, I smiled. “Yes. Exactly.”
And then I explained how Jesus had to die so we might live and give us a “new heart.” She already knew all this, of course, but it was such a powerful teaching moment I couldn’t let it go by without some reinforcement. I’m not sure up until then that she fully grasped the concept of Jesus’ sacrifice and our benefit from it.
Someone had to die so we could live and Jesus stepped forward (as he was the only one who could), raised his hand, and said, I’ll do it.
Think about that today.
(I invite you to check out my other blog, www.mikedellosso.wordpress.com, for similar posts as this).